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QuantumII
August 22nd, 2009, 05:58 AM
Today I got myself a nice Compaq Portable II. It came with a power cord and the bag.

It works fine, but the miniscribe HDD needed a little push to start again. I also had to clean the FDD drive, and I had to make an AT setup disk so that I could configure it.

It works fine now, but I'll leave it on so that the HDD will loosen itself a little. It had a few games and stuff on it, I haven't explored it properly yet.

I paid very little $ for it, so I am happy. I paid about $10.

A little OT, but what is the deal with the stupid HDD daughterboard? The HDD is standard MFM, so why didn't they just use a standard MFM controller? Just wondering in case you know :-)

EDIT: Typo. It's a II.

Vlad
August 22nd, 2009, 08:09 AM
Your subject line says Portable II but your first line says Portable I, which did you get? :)

I have a Portable 386 myself and they're fun machines.

per
August 22nd, 2009, 08:14 AM
I have a Portable 386 myself and they're fun machines.

The ads for that machine are fun too:

386 Chips and 32 Bits of a bus

per
August 23rd, 2009, 02:23 PM
The ads for that machine are fun too:

For those who haven't seen the ad I was reffering to, you can find it here:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dPmiC_Zt88I&feature=channel_page

This is one for the Portable II (The portable computer that doesn't smell). It's really worth a watch:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RlmzwZXa-Ww&feature=channel_page

JohnElliott
August 24th, 2009, 02:03 AM
A little OT, but what is the deal with the stupid HDD daughterboard? The HDD is standard MFM, so why didn't they just use a standard MFM controller? Just wondering in case you know :-)

Presumably they knew the future was IDE, so they put an IDE connector at the PC end. And then, I suspect, they (or the drive manufacturer) found it cheaper to make an IDE drive out of an MFM drive and a bridgeboard.

QuantumII
August 24th, 2009, 03:23 AM
Presumably they knew the future was IDE, so they put an IDE connector at the PC end. And then, I suspect, they (or the drive manufacturer) found it cheaper to make an IDE drive out of an MFM drive and a bridgeboard.

Oh, so this adapter is basically an MFM-to-IDE adapter then ? Hmm, I wonder if that adapter in a newer IDE-based PC (Think 486 > )

Maybe it's outside the standard IDE spec , and will only work with Compaq's board ?

JohnElliott
August 24th, 2009, 11:44 AM
Oh, so this adapter is basically an MFM-to-IDE adapter then ? Hmm, I wonder if that adapter in a newer IDE-based PC (Think 486 > )

Maybe it's outside the standard IDE spec , and will only work with Compaq's board ?

No idea. I don't even know if what's in your Portable II is the same as what's in mine. What I'm thinking of is a board fitted under the hard drive, with a 40-pin cable at one end and the two MFM cables at the other.

If it is IDE, it's probably standard; the point of IDE is that all the cleverness is at the end of the cable with the drive, and all the other end needs to do is decode the right addresses.

QuantumII
August 24th, 2009, 01:28 PM
No idea. I don't even know if what's in your Portable II is the same as what's in mine. What I'm thinking of is a board fitted under the hard drive, with a 40-pin cable at one end and the two MFM cables at the other.

If it is IDE, it's probably standard; the point of IDE is that all the cleverness is at the end of the cable with the drive, and all the other end needs to do is decode the right addresses.

Yes, I know about IDE. Probably some Compaqish standard which does not work with anything else than Compaqs own controller card.

The HDD is a cute little 3,5" Miniscribe HDD. A bit slow to spin up but it works. I forgot the model number as I did not write it down before I reassembled the machine.